Homily – September 20, 2020

Since March of this year our lives have been turned upside down. A virus, a plague has spread around the world with lightning speed. We are helpless before it. Scientists around the world are co-operating to find a cure. As of now they have not been successful.

Think of how this virus has affected us personally. Right here right now we have to sign in to come to this Mass. We have to wear masks, sit a certain distance apart, we’re not allowed to sing our hymns, there’s no choir and then we are restricted in our greeting of peace. We receive Holy Communion in a well ordered way. There is no spontaneity – we have to be careful. We can no longer take our time after Mass to greet and talk with one another.

There’s no more social life. We live in our own bubbles. No parties, no picnics, no fun.

The saddest and the hardest of all is the reality of seniors dying alone in nursing homes, no love ones allowed to hold and comfort them.There are no wakes, no hugging, no words of sympathy and encouragement. No funerals.

Weddings and their reception are cancelled; Thanksgiving and Christmas family gathering and dinners are discouraged. Snow birds are grounded.

Think of the numbers of small businesses that are gone. The financial impact of this virus has been disastrous for so many people.

This devious virus has touched us all in one way or another.

But think on this. We, the human family have become a virus to Earth. By our lifestyles, our consumerism, our wastefulness, our exploitation of Earth’s limited resources, our pollution of Earth’s oceans and lakes and rivers, our part in the extinction our so many species of plants, animals and birds and insects all these plus the climate change we’ve caused by our irresponsible human activity we’ve have caused a virus that damages and diminishes the health of Earth. What we do to Earth we do to ourselves.

We have no idea when our lives will get back to normal but scientist tells us the healing of Earth will be a long, long process.

Think on this. If we change our attitudes on our relationship with Earth, if we learn to respect the fragility of the life systems of Earth, if we appreciate the limits of Earth’s resources and live within them, if we are willing to live a simple life style, if we control our use of fossil fuel and harvest the energy of the sun and the winds, if we are willing to control the ways we harvest the seas and the land; then we will go a long way to developing an antivirus to the virus with which we’ve inflicted Earth and go a long way toward the healing of Earth.

A healthy Earth will be the antivirus we’re looking for and we can put behind us these difficult and tragic times in which we live.

Pope Francis and the Patriarch of Constantinople have asked that these days, until Oct. 4th the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi be known as the Season of Creation – days on which we see our place in God’s good creation.

Will we, during the Season of Creation, take the time to wonder at the beauty of creation, especially during this Fall season and take the time to examine our own life styles and by changing them make our own effort to work toward the healing of Earth and the healing of ourselves?